The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is an action role-playing open world video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios, and published by Bethesda Softworks and Ubisoft. It is the third installment in The Elder Scrolls series of games, following The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall. It was released in North America in 2002 for Microsoft Windows and the Xbox. Well-received publicly and critically, with over four million sales and more than 60 awards (including Game of the Year), the game spawned two expansion pack for the PC: Tribunal and Bloodmoon. Both were eventually repackaged into a full set containing all three, Morrowind: Game of the Year Edition, which shipped on October 30, 2003 for both PC and Xbox.
The main story takes place on Vvardenfell, an island in the Dunmer province of Morrowind, which lies in the empire of Tamriel and is far from the more civilized lands to the west and south that typified Daggerfall and Arena. The central quests concern the deity Dagoth Ur, housed within the volcanic Red Mountain, who seeks to gain power and break Morrowind free from Imperial reign. Morrowind was designed with an open-ended free-form style of gameplay in mind, with less of an emphasis on the game's main plot than its predecessors. This choice received mixed reviews in the gaming press, though such feelings were tempered by reviewers' appreciation of Morrowind ' s expansive and detailed game world.
Morrowind begins with the player's character, having been imprisoned, arriving in Morrowind by boat in order to be pardoned. This is a common introductory segment throughout the main installments of the series. A well-received tutorial depicting the prisoner's release moves the player through the process of character creation.
The player character's proficiency with a skill is increased either by practice, training or study. Practice involves performing the specific actions associated with a given skill, which gradually raises the character's proficiency in that skill. Raising weapon skills requires striking an enemy with the appropriate weapon; raising armor skills requires being struck while wearing the appropriate type of armor; etc. Training involves paying cash to NPCs in exchange for immediate proficiency increases in that skill. Study requires reading books found in the game, some of which will immediately raise a skill when read. Weaponry skills (viz. Short Blade, Long Blade, Axe, etc.) affect the character's chance to hit. Armor skills (viz. Heavy Armor, Light Armor, Unarmored, etc.) affect the defensive strength of the armor. Other skills (viz. Alchemy, Athletics and Security) affect proficiency at other actions such as potion-making, running, lockpicking, etc.
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